The Instigator
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
imabench
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points

is fetus human, if not when does being a human start?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,586 times Debate No: 18927
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (6)

 

16kadams

Con

Pro says a fetus isn't a human and shows their opinion of when life starts. Con says a fetus is a human.

1. size doesn't mean anything, i am as much human as my 6'4" dad is. so there's one point.
2. Just because a fetus depends on it's mother doesn't mean its non-human. People with disabilities usually need their mother or a care giver for much of their lives.
3. A fetus has the same DNA as a human, and nothing else.
4. A scientific textbook called "Basics of Biology" gives five characteristics of living things; these five criteria are found in all modern elementary scientific textbooks:

- Living things are highly organized.

- All living things have an ability to acquire materials and energy.

- All living things have an ability to respond to their environment.

- All living things have an ability to reproduce.

- All living things have an ability to adapt.
Well a fetus can do all of these thins, and so do you and I. According to this elementary definition of life, life begins at fertilization, when a sperm unites with an oocyte. From this moment, the being is highly organized, has the ability to acquire materials and energy, has the ability to respond to his or her environment, has the ability to adapt, and has the ability to reproduce (the cells divide, then divide again, etc., and barring pathology and pending reproductive maturity has the potential to reproduce other members of the species). Non-living things do not do these things. Even before the mother is aware that she is pregnant, a distinct, unique life has begun his or her existence inside her.
imabench

Pro

I do not know if the first round is acceptance only but with 3 rounds I wont take any chances....

1) Size doesnt matter: agreed
2) fetus depending on its mother doesnt mean its non human: agreed
3) fetus has human DNA: agreed
4) the 5 characteristics
-----1) Living things are highly organized (on the cellular level i assume): agreed
-----2) All living things can acquire and obtain energy: agreed
-----3) All living things respond to their environment: my air conditioning automatically kicks in when the environment becomes too hot, its not a living thing though............................. but to be fair if you are referring to the fetus's and human's having that ability, then in that case i agree
-----4) All living things have an ability to reproduce: there are still no self replicating robots so i also agree
-----5) All living things have an ability to adapt: individuals do not adapt, populations do....... If you are not referring to adaptation as the ability for species to overtime become more fit for their environment and instead are referring to adaptation to changes in a situation they encounter: then i agree

I agree with ALL of the Con's statements (somewhat) but there is something that the Con is overlooking.

Being alive does not necessarily mean that they are human.......

Consider this, I just scratched my arm because it was itchy. In that 2 second process i have removed a couple thousand skin cells form my arm. those cells are living, highly organized, can sense a changing environment, can reproduce into other skin cells, has human DNA, etc.................. but there is a big difference between skin cells and a fetus, scratching my arm certainly is not considered abortion...........

We can all reach an agreement on what constitutes as living. But what constitutes the precise moment when something becomes human? That is still debated in society and everyone has their own opinion.

I define human as a fetus who has developed long enough to have developed a fully functioning heart.

The heart is the greatest part of any human. It can teach us empathy, apathy, compassion, hope, happiness, glee, optimism, thrill, shock, cleverness, and most importantly................................................. love :)

Humans are not defined by what some biology text books say we are. Humans are the most philosophically and emotionally deep creatures in the world because time and time again we have proven how far we will go and put ourselves at risk for others........... and it is all because of our hearts.............. our HUMAN hearts........

A fetus becomes human when it develops a fully functioning heart, not when it is just a growing mass of cells with human DNA
Debate Round No. 1
16kadams

Con

So yo agree on most things, so need to argue there. But you say that it's the heart.

"Consider this, I just scratched my arm because it was itchy. In that 2 second process i have removed a couple thousand skin cells form my arm. those cells are living, highly organized, can sense a changing environment, can reproduce into other skin cells, has human DNA, etc.................. but there is a big difference between skin cells and a fetus, scratching my arm certainly is not considered abortion..........."
Well because a skin cell isn't human. A fetus is here is why: A fetus has a brain, can feel touch, wake and sleep, open its eyes, make fists and has a heart at 4 weeks! So your belief means that a fetus is a human! wow we agree. But a skin cell is not going to be a 'grown' human being. the fetus might. If all goes well it will.

You say it is developing so it's not human. Well that means nobody is a person. Why because puberty makes you change, then age does it too, so everyone is changing.

So If you believe the heart beat thing, then you may not know, but we agree, like have already stated.
imabench

Pro

Dear Con, I was misinformed....
Hear me out, im not a nut....... I thought I knew enough about development of human embryos and all that so that i could know most of this stuff from memory, but I did some research and i found out I was misinformed.

I thought that a fetus does not develop a heart until halfway through its time it is considered a fetus. But i did some research and a fetus becomes a fetus at 9 weeks after conception............. But the human heart of the fetus actually begins to fully sustain the fetus after 7 weeks.....

http://www.babycenter.com...
http://www.luc.edu...

It was my understanding that prior to this debate, there was a time when a fetus was both human AND not human because i believed that the heart only develops halfway through the stage a fetus is as a fetus..... I know now that a fetus has a heart that sustains it even BEFORE it becomes a fetus.....

I would therefore agree with the Con that a fetus is human, but I now believe that an offspring becomes a human at 7 weeks, which would make it a deeply progressed Embryo.

So is a Fetus Human? Yes

The second part of the debate says "if not when does being a human start" And I have stated that an offspring becomes human very late in the embryonic stage, however I believe the debate of whether or not a fetus was human is the main part of the debate, and I now agree that a fetus is human....

Therefore I would like to ask the Pro if he would allow me to honorably concede this debate to him

I learned a lot about this subject, my views have changed, and I thank the Pro for starting this debate :)
Debate Round No. 2
16kadams

Con

I knew you weren't a nut either way. I also learned a lot about this debate and I enjoyed it. Yes you can concede. And wow a change of opinion... rare. good luck in you future debates, and have even better luck if you are in one like this.
imabench

Pro

I Imabench, duke of the land called Florida (or as we call it, northern Cuba), hereby concede the debate to sir 16kadams, lord of the land called Albuquerque (or as we call it, "how do you spell that?" ) on this day, October/26/2011, at 6:55 pm while watching a re-run of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Ok I can be a little nuts..... ;D
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Leftii 5 years ago
Leftii
RoyLatham: "Reasons for voting decision: Wretched debate. 1) There are multiple meanings of meaning of "human." 2) A fetus obviously cannot reproduce, only a mature adult."

1) This debate is partially about which meaning is dominant, accurate or correct

2) If this were true, would one not consider a person, too old or too young to conceive, human, or even alive?

3) Tautology is a form of bad grammar and many people consider me a "Grammar Nerd", so please refrain from using incorrect grammar: "meanings of meaning"
Posted by Leftii 5 years ago
Leftii
Imabench: I am only putting forward possible theories of the definition. Although science may not give one accurate answer, it produces several theories which help us to decide for ourselves our opinion or our answer. "Theoretically", the sperm and egg cell have the ability or potential to become a foetus. masturbation certainly diminishes this chance, so, if one concludes that masturbation therefore prevents life - or kills -, then yes, masturbation would be considered abortion.

16kadams: I'm afraid you got the wrong end of the stick, of which imabench is holding the other. Although neither a sperm cell or an egg cell contain the "complete" number of chromosomes, merely half the usual number, the DNA is purely human nonetheless, rendering the program human. It therefore contains the appropriate DNA.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Well that's what I got out of it, Maybe your right though.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
oh ok now i get it
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
No because he means when the egg and the sperm are together to make the full XX or XY chromosomes. Also It is bad to do that because it's a sin (for me because im religeous). The sin is lust.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
"all sperm cells and egg cells, containing human DNA, would be human also"

theoretically would this mean that masturbation is considered abortion to you?

Your heart/brain/development arguments make complete sense and i really dont want to sound like an a#%hole but we all have different definitions of what it is to be human and i dont think science can give us a precise and accurate answer of where being human actually begins....
Posted by Leftii 5 years ago
Leftii
Debrikishaw: It depends on how one defines "life". The ancient Greeks defines it as "energetic" or "moving", in which case energy itself is life and mass is object.

However, the modern definition of life is a body which follows the seven pillars of life: Program (DNA), Improvisation (Evolution: Each offspring changes its program an unnoticeable amount to suit its changing habitat), Compartmentalisation (Limited space surrounded by a skin or membrane), Energy (The ability to consume and obtain energy), Regeneration (eg. stem cells, proteins: A material that can mend an organism's body part when damaged or continuously under stress), Adaptability (reaction to environments) and, finally, Seclusion (Separation of reactions to prevent contamination, eg. each enzyme is secluded to its own area in consumption, lipase for fat, protease for protein). Both definitions counteract your arguments, the former countering the statement, "Life is a continuous process", and the latter, even more so, countering the statement, "The sperm cell and egg cell were not dead". If you were to put forward a countering definition, I would be happy to hear it.
Posted by Leftii 5 years ago
Leftii
The two characteristics which technically define each species is 1) the disability to produce offspring, which can furthermore produce offspring themselves, with other species. For example, a human could not produce offspring with a cat; a horse could produce offspring with a donkey, but the offspring would be unable to produce offspring. In both of these examples, therefore, the two species listed are not similar. And 2) Its DNA.

Therefore, what defines a foetus as human is its ability (in due course) to produce offspring with humans and no other species. If this were the case, however, all sperm cells and egg cells, containing human DNA, would be human also, with the ability - or potential for need for a better word in such a case - (in due course) to produce offspring with humans and no other species. The more pressing debate, therefore, in my view, is whether an egg cell or a sperm cell should be considered human.

Furthermore, pro and con suggest that 1) the heart can teach us empathy, apathy, compassion, hope, happiness, glee, optimism, thrill, shock, cleverness and, most importantly, love.

1) I hope that neither believe that the superstitious optimism of feelings protruding from a mere organ designed only for pumping blood is scientifically accurate. It is undoubtedly the brain which expresses and depresses each feeling, hormone and emotion.

2) As stated above, the heart is a mere organ and is as much of a definition of a human as the skin or liver. If it were the brain, however, that defines a human, my earlier argument would be concluded and the time in which we truly become human be located at the foetus, when we grow a brain.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
a lot more people agree with me than i thought.
Posted by NickMasstas 5 years ago
NickMasstas
Human DNA makes you human, we've been humans ever since we became one solitary cell in the womb.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
16kadamsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Wretched debate. There are multiple meanings of meaning of "human." A fetus obviously cannot reproduce, only a mature adult. Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
16kadamsimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by Kethen 5 years ago
Kethen
16kadamsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro said "The heart is the greatest part of any human. It can teach us empathy, apathy, compassion, hope, happiness, glee, optimism, thrill, shock, cleverness, and most importantly................................................. love :)" It sounds nice, but it is absurd. That is all hormones and chemicals in the BRAIN
Vote Placed by tvellalott 5 years ago
tvellalott
16kadamsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 5 years ago
Rockylightning
16kadamsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering a vote. Pro conceded.
Vote Placed by Crayzman2297 5 years ago
Crayzman2297
16kadamsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Although I suppose con "won" on a technicality, I feel like Pro's arguments were more solid, and backed with printed resources.... However, I feel as if Con's point was stated incorrectly, and that he probably wanted to argue that from the moment of conception the embryo is considered human. If this is the case, then it should be agreed that for the first 7 weeks, an embryo is not a fetus, and therefore not human, and therefore can easily be aborted, guilt-free.